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Theodor Bastard is one of the most unusual (in style) and independent (in production) Russian musical bands, from St Petersburg. Theodor Bastard were pioneers of world and neofolk music genres in Russia. Also elements of dark wave, trip hop and ambient are present in the band's music. The themes of band's songs are very far from everyday problems, they are based on mythology and fantasy. The hallmark of the band is a female vocal by Yana Veva - the lead vocalist and author of many songs. She often sings in idiosyncratic language invented by her and in rare languages ranging from African and Asian to Native American and many more. Theodor Bastard albums were released in 5 countries: Russia, Germany, Turkey, Mexico, Argentina.Read More...
Theodor Bastard's musicians use classical instruments: cello, harp as well as electronic instruments: synthesizers, samplers, theremin and ethnic instruments: darbuka, ashiko, conga, djembe, daf, didgeridoo, bağlama, gusli, cimbalom, dulcimer, caxixi, agogô, bawu, mbira, marimba, udu, reco-reco, ocarina, morin khuur, tibetan horn, kangling, cajón, jew's harp, spring drum and many other.
The band was founded in 1996 by Alexander Starostin - guitarist and composer. His stage name is Fedor Svoloch and the birth name of the band was the same. More members joined the band later, in 2000's, including vocalist and composer Yana Veva who also participated in Shiva in Exile. In 1999 the band's name became Theodor Bastard as the English translation of the stage name 'Fedor Svoloch'. At the beginning they played mostly electronic, industrial, noise music but later, after Yana Veva joining, their style started to crystallize gradually, balancing on the edge of dark wave, world music, neofolk and trip hop.
In 2004 Theodor Bastard released the album Pustota. The album name is a Latin transliteration of the Russian word for emptiness, voidness. Considering a Buddhist concept Shunyata. This album has a great success, it was released in Germany (Pandaimonium Records), Mexico (The Art Records, Noise Kontrol) and Turkey (Muzikal Yapım). In 2014 the remastered version named Pustota (Remastered) came out.
The band performed at famous festivals in Europe: Fusion Festival (2004), Wave-Gotik-Treffen (2011, 2014), Dark Bombastic Evening (2012, 2013, 2016), Castle Party (2014), Castlefest (2015), Mėnuo Juodaragis (2008, 2012, 2016) and others.
Theodor Bastard collaborated with many artists: Martin Atkins, Peter Christopherson, Stefan Hertrich, Fun-Da-Mental, Julien Jacob and others.
In November 2011 the album Remixed was released - the collection of remixes of Theodor Bastard's songs. Such artists from all over Europe as Riz Maslen, Animals on Wheels, Up, Bustle and Out, Robin Rimbaud, State of Bengal, Geomatic, Flint Glass and others took part in the work on the collection.
All 2011 Theodor Bastard worked on the new album. They recorded it in several studios at the same time. British band Fun-Da-Mental, African band The Mighty Zulu Nation, French singer Julien Jacob - took part in the recording. Many ethnic instruments as udu, mbira, marimba, reco-reco, caxixi, ashiko, and spring drum were used. Fedor Svoloch also used the instruments that he had invented and made of improvised materials, such as coconuts, door springs, empty bottles, and plastic. In February 2012 the album Oikoumene was released. Its name comes from Ecumene - an ancient Greek term for the known world.
In May 2015, Theodor Bastard released the album Vetvi. Its name is a Latin transliteration of the Russian word for branches bearing in mind the branches of the World tree. The work on this album took three years. On the album we can hear many guest artists: Buryat singer Namgar Lhasaranova from the band Namgar, multi-instrumentalist Phillip Barsky (harp and cimbalom), Olga Glazova (she plays the world's largest gusli), Chamber choir Lauda, vocalist Alexander Platonov (Ensemble of Ancient Peasant Music), Gulya Naumova (violin), Natalia Nazarova (cello). Russian horn, traditional Mongol violin morin khuur, ritual tibetan horn dungchen, ancient Russian gusli, cajón, jew's harp, dulcimer (a species of zither) - this is incomplete list of instruments. This album is characterized by special atmosphere of northern dawn.